The Trump administration has warned Israel not to build new settlements. Throughout his campaign, President Donald Trump offered unflinching support to Israel and their prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Trump has in the past suggested that he would help Netanyahu with the construction of more Israelite settlements than his predecessor Barack Obama.

A statement released by the White House claimed that the Trump administration does not think that “the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace,” however, they do believe that expanding on current settlements or building entirely new ones “may not be helpful in achieving that goal.”

Trump will be meeting with Netanyahu on 15 February to discuss this

Trump tweeted that the treatment of Israel, which he describes as “such total disdain and disrespect,” needs to stop.

He added, that Israel “used to have a great friend in the U.S., but.......” He continued his sentence after this extended ellipsis in a second tweet that began: “not anymore.” He claimed that “the beginning of the end” of the United States’ friendly relationship with Israel was “the horrible Iran deal.” He also blamed recent development with the United Nations for the breakdown of the relationship.

Just before his inauguration, Trump tweeted, “Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!” which gave right-wing Israelites hope that the new President would help them with settlement construction unconditionally. The new settlements are needed because the West Bank and the east of Jerusalem were occupied and captured by Israel during the 1967 war.

Netanyahu wants the first new settlement in the West Bank to begin construction “as soon as possible.” He has promised this to his people, and they have gotten hopeful in the wake of over twenty years without a new settlement. According to the State Department, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called up Netanyahu on Thursday, although it was not mentioned whether or not the statement from the White House or Trump’s claims were discussed.

‘It’s still too early to tell’ how White House statement will affect settlement construction

When asked about whether or not the statement from the White House would have a major impact on the future construction of settlements in Israel, Israel’s UN ambassador Danny Danon said, “It’s still too early to tell.” He said that he would not label this as “a U-turn,” but said that “the issue is clearly on their agenda,” referring to the Trump administration.

He said in an interview with Israel Radio that “the issue will be discussed” when Netanyahu meets Trump in Washington.

Israel has plans to build 3,000 new settlement homes in the West Bank. These were the third such plans to be announced since Trump was inaugurated two weeks ago. Trump has being showing many signs of backing out of his promises to Israel, specifically his promise to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, where it is currently in Tel Aviv. Presidential candidates seem to always promise this because it makes them look good, but they never actually do it once they’re in the Oval Office, because no one wants to flare up tensions in Israel.